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Full text of "Alternative Work Schedules in the National Park Service: A Handbook for Supervisors"

ALTERNATIVE 



WORK SCHEDULES 

fUBLIC DOCUMENTS 
.DEPOSITOR* ITEM 




7 
IN THE 

NATIONAL PARK 
SERVICE 

a handbook for supervisors 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2013 with funding from 

LYRASIS Members and Sloan Foundation 



http://archive.org/details/alternativeworksOOunse 



ALTERNATIVE WORK SCHEDULES 

IN THE 
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE 

a handbook for supervisors 



Branch of Labor and Employee Relations 

Personnel Division 

National Park Service 

Washington. D.C. 



CONTENTS 

Page 

Introduction 1 

AWS Statute 1 

Alternative Work Schedule Plans 1 

Types of Work Schedules 2 

Ten-Hour Schedule 2 

Five-Four-Nine Schedule 2 

Alternative Eight-Hour Schedule 3 

Flexible Eight-Hour Schedule 4 

Flexible/Compressed Schedule 4 

Time Accounting 5 

Time and Attendance Reports 5 

Lunch Periods 6 

Premium Pay 6 

Credit Hours 7 

Holidays 8 

Lieu Days 9 

Part-Time Employees 9 

Supervisor's Responsibilities 10 

Employee's Responsibilities 11 

Administrative Workweek/Business Hours 11 

Labor Relations Aspects 11 

Sample Schedules 14 

Questions and Answers 17 



in 



INTRODUCTION 

On October 12, 1984, the Director of the National Park Service 
signed a memorandum addressed to all NPS management officials 
which extended his support for the implementation of alternative 
work schedules, whenever and wherever appropriate, throughout 
the National Park Service (NPS). Alternative work schedules (AWS) 
are currently in place in various forms at both Field and Head- 
quarters offices. The purpose of this issuance is to provide additional 
information regarding alternative work schedules and to bring some 
order and consistency throughout the Service concerning the types 
of AWS plans which are considered appropriate. This issuance is not 
intended to force plans on organizations where AWS would be 
clearly inappropriate, nor is it intended to dictate the type of AWS 
plan that should be adopted by any particular organization. 
Nonetheless, it is the policy of the National Park Service to imple- 
ment plans whenever and wherever appropriate. Existing AWS plans 
which are inconsistent with the statute or the policies in this hand- 
book must be brought into compliance. 

THE AWS STATUTE 

The Federal Employees Flexible and Compressed Work Schedules 
Act became law when it was signed by the President on July 23, 
1982. The Act continued without interruption the existing alternative 
work schedules which were established as experiments in various 
Federal agencies at that time. The Act also extended the opportunity 
to establish AWS plans throughout the Federal government whether 
or not the organizations had participated in the original experiments. 
AWS plans were no longer considered to be experiments but became 
personnel policy. Although the 1982 legislation expired at the end of 
1985 through a sunset provision, Public Law 99-196, signed by the 
President on December 23, 1985, provided permanent authority for 
flexible and compressed work schedules. 

ALTERNATIVE WORK SCHEDULE PLANS 

An alternative work schedule plan is a written description, or state- 
ment of policy, concerning the types of alternative schedules which 
are considered appropriate for the particular organization covered by 
the plan. The plan may be part of a collective bargaining agreement 
(if it covers bargaining unit employees), or it may be a separate 
document or policy statement. A written alternative work schedule 
plan must be completed and approved before any alternative work 
schedules may be implemented within an NPS organization (Region, 
Center, Park, Site, etc.). Organizations which currently allow alterna- 



tive schedules, but do not have a written plan, should prepare an 
AWS plan and bring all current schedules into compliance with it. 
Regional Directors and Service Center Managers are delegated 
authority to approve all plans within their respective organizations. 
All approved plans must be in full compliance with law, rule, regula 
tion and NPS policy contained in this handbook and related 
issuances. The Branch of Labor and Employee Relations may be 
contacted for advice and assistance in the development of AWS 
plans. 

TYPES OF WORK SCHEDULES 

Ten-Hour Schedule (Compressed) 

This is a fixed, nonflexible schedule, which means that it does not 
vary from day to day. The arrival and departure times are according 
to a ^set, written schedule requested by the employee and approved 
by the supervisor in advance. The schedule includes eight (8) 
workdays in each pay period. Each workday is ten (10) hours in 
length excluding any scheduled lunch period. A lunch period must 
be scheduled mid-day, or mid-shift, and be at least thirty (30) 
minutes in length. The scheduled lunch period may be as long as 
two (2) hours, provided the schedule still includes ten (10) hours of 
actual work time, excluding the lunch period. Once the schedule is 
requested and approved, the length of the lunch period is fixed and 
may not vary from day to day. The pay period will also include six 
(6) nonworkdays. A ten-hour schedule may not include any combi- 
nation of half-days or workdays of less than ten hours. 

Five-Four-Nine Schedule (Compressed) 

This is a fixed, nonflexible schedule, which means that it does not 
vary from day to day. The arrival and departure times are according 
to a set schedule requested by the employee and approved by the 
supervisor in advance. The schedule includes nine (9) workdays in 
each pay period. Eight (8) of the workdays are nine (9) hours in 
length and one (1) workday is eight (8) hours long. A lunch period 
must be scheduled mid-day, or mid-shift, and be at least thirty (30) 
minutes in length. The scheduled lunch period may be as long as 
two (2) hours, provided the schedule still includes nine (9) hours of 
actual work time on eight (8) days and eight (8) hours on one day, 
excluding the lunch period. Once the schedule has been approved, 
the length of the lunch period is fixed and must be the same length 
each workdav. The pay period will also include five (5) 



nonworkdays. A 5/4/9 schedule may not include any combination of 
half-days or workdays of less than eight hours. 




Alternative Eight-Hour Schedule 

This is a fixed schedule which does not vary from day to day. The 
arrival and departure times are according to a set, written schedule 
requested by the employee and approved by the supervisor in 
advance. The schedule includes ten (10) workdays in each pay 
period. Each workday is eight (8) hours in length excluding the 
scheduled lunch period. A lunch period must be scheduled mid-day, 
or mid-shift, and be at least thirty (30) minutes in length. The sched- 
uled lunch period may be as long as two (2) hours, provided the 
schedule still includes eight (8) hours of actual work time, excluding 
the lunch period. Once the schedule is approved, the length of the 
lunch period is fixed and must be the same length each workday. 
The pay period will also include c our (4) nonworkdays. 



This schedule (sometimes referred to as a "Flexitour") differs from 
the normal eight-hour schedule in that the scheduled arrival and 
departure times need not coincide with the traditional eight-hour 
schedule and the employee may schedule a lunch period longer than 
the minimum thirty-minute lunch period. This schedule, subject to 
supervisory approval, may consist of any combination of ten 
workdays in a pay period. 

Flexible Eight-Hour Schedule (Flexitime) 

This is a flexible schedule which includes an eight-hour day, forty- 
hour week, and eighty-hour pay period. The employees' arrival and 
departure times may vary from day to day within a flexible ban at 
the beginning and end of each day. Each day will include set core 
hours during which all employees scheduled to work that day must 
be on the job. A lunch period must be taken mid-day, or mid-shift, 
and be at least thirty (30) minutes in length. The lunch period may 
be as long as two (2) hours and may vary in length from day to day, 
provided the daily schedule (sometimes referred to as a "Gliding 
Schedule") totals eight (8) hours of work time excluding the lunch 
period. 

Flexible/Compressed Schedule (Maxi-Flex) 

This is a schedule which includes a minimum of eighty (80) hours of 
work time within each pay period. The arrival and departure times 
may vary from day to day within a flexible ban at the beginning and 
ending of each day. Each day will contain set core hours during 
which all employees scheduled to work that day must be on the job. 
A lunch period must be scheduled mid-day, or mid-shift, and be at 
least thirty (30) minutes in length. The scheduled lunch period may 
be as long as two (2) hours and may vary in length from day to day, 
provided the schedule totals eighty (80) hours in the pay period. 
Employees who fail to complete eighty (80) hours of work time in a 
pay period must use (subject to supervisory approval) either annual 
leave, sick leave (for periods of incapacitation due to illness or 
medical/dental appointments), accrued credit hours, accrued compen- 
satory time or leave without pay to complete the eighty (80) hour 
requirement of each pay period. Forms of these schedules are some- 
times referred to as "variable day" or "variable week" schedules. 

With the approval of his or her supervisor, an employee may work 
in excess of eighty (80) hours in a pay period and accrue credit 
hours. Credit hours may be carried over to the next pay period and 
may be used in the same manner as annual leave. A full-time 
employee may carry over no more than twenty-four (24) credit hours 



from one pay period to the next. Credit hours accrued should be 
used in the same manner as annual leave, when approved by the 
employee's supervisor. A part-time employee may accumulate and 
carry over no more than one-fourth of the hours in his or her 
biweekly basic work requirement. 

TIME ACCOUNTING 

Because employees working alternative schedules will arrive and 
depart at varying times, it is important that a system exist within 
each organization to provide accountability for hours worked and to 
ensure the credibility of the program from the perspective of 
employees, management, and the public. Activities are responsible 
for determining the most appropriate time accounting system for 
their particular organization 

One recommended procedure is seriatim or sequential, sign-in/sign- 
cut logs. With these logs, each employee records his or her time of 
arrival and, separately, time of departure in order, one following the 
other. This procedure is a simple, inexpensive method of assuring 
accountability for those employees who work under alternative 
schedules. In most instances, mechanical time recording devices are 
not recommended. Nonetheless, mechanical time recording devices 
are authorized for all flexible or compressed schedule plans outside 
the District of Columbia and for all flexible schedule plans within the 
District of Columbia. 

Supervisors may require those employees on flexible schedules to 
sign-out and sign-in for their lunch periods in addition to the regular 
sign-in/sign-out procedure at the beginning and end of the workday. 
Under flexible schedules the employee's lunch period may vary from 
day to day and may be of any length from a minimum of thirty- 
minutes to a maximum of two hours. In order to assure accurate 
time accounting as required by the statute, this additional use of the 
sign-in/sign-out procedure may be necessary. Sign-in/sign-out proce- 
dures, at the beginning and end of the workday, are strongly 
recommended for employees on any type of alternative work 
schedule and required for employees on flexible schedules. 

TIME AND ATTENDANCE REPORTS 

Regardless of which type of schedule an employee may be working, 
it is very important that T&A Reports accurately report the actual 
hours worked on each day of the pay period. Not only should the 
hours total eighty (80) each pay period for a full-time employee, it is 
also very important that the hours reported for each day are those 



actually worked. It is the supervisor's responsibility when certifying 
(signing) each T&A Report to verify that the hours reported are abso- 
lutely correct. Supervisors may not delegate that responsibility to 
their time and attendance clerk, and supervisors may not allow 
employees to maintain their own time and attendance records. 

Time and attendance clerks may assist a supervisor in maintaining 
the records, but the supervisor, and only the supervisor, is account- 
able for the accuracy of the reports certified with his/her signature. 
Supervisors who have questions concerning time and attendance 
reporting requirements should consult the PAY/PERS System 
Manual, Time and Attendance Instructions, Volume 8, and/or contact 
the Consolidated Payroll Office. 

LUNCH PERIODS 

Employees must schedule and take a minimum thirty-minute lunch 
period at mid-day, or approximately mid-way through their daily 
schedule. The lunch period may not be taken at the beginning or 
end of the daily schedule. The purpose of a lunch period is to give 
employees an opportunity to eat or rest in the middle of their tours 
of duty so that they can perform their duties effectively throughout 
the day. The lunch period may be waived only for employees 
working less than a full shift (six hours or less). 

PREMIUM PAY 

Premium pay shall be paid in the same manner as paid to an 
employee working under existing schedules, except that overtime 




pay and compensatory time shall be earned only for work assigned 
and worked (or permitted for FLSA nonexempt employees) outside 
th^ employee's approved alternative schedule (daily work require- 
ment) or in excess of eighty (80) hours in a biweekly pay period. It is 
important that supervisors and time and attendance clerks recognize 
the significant distinction between credit hours and compensatory 
time. Employees on compressed schedules are entitled to Sunday 
premium pay or holiday premium pay for the number of hours they 
are scheduled to work on a Sunday or holiday. An employee on a 
ten-hour schedule who works on a holiday is entitled to ten hours of 
holiday premium pay. An employee on a 5/4/9 schedule who works 
nine hours on a holiday is entitled to nine hours of holiday premium 

Pay- 
Employees on flexible schedules are entitled to eight hours of holiday 
premium pay if they work eight or more hours on a holiday. Hours 
worked in excess of the eight hours are compensated at regular over- 
time premium pay rates and should be worked only if specifically 
ordered by a supervisor. 

CREDIT HOURS 

With the approval of his or her supervisor, an employee on a flex- 
ible/compressed schedule may work in excess of eighty (80) hours in 
a pay period and accrue credit hours. Credit hours may be carried 
over to the next pay period and may be used in the same manner as 
annual leave. A full-time employee may carry over no more than 
twenty-four (24) credit hours from one pay period to the next. Credit 
hours accrued should be recorded on the employee's Time and 




Credit Hours Y, 



v 



EMPLOYEE 




Attendance Report and may be used in the same manner as annual 
leave, when approved by the employee's supervisor. A part-time 
employee may accumulate and carry over no more than one-fourth 
of the hours in his or her biweekly basic work requirement. 

Credit hours, although earned only with the supervisor's approval, 
are accumulated on a voluntary basis. An employee may not be 
ordered to work overtime and be compensated with credit hours. 
Employees ordered to work overtime are entitled to overtime pay or 
compensatory time, subject to the provisions of the FLSA and Title 
5, U.S.C. Credit hours earned and not used, in excess of the 24-hour 
carry over limitation, are forfeited without compensation or right to 
restoration at the end of each pay period. It is Departmental policy 
that SES employees may not earn or use credit hours. 

HOLIDAYS 

Employees on alternative schedules observe official holidays in the 
same manner as other employees, with two exceptions. First, 
employees on compressed schedules receive the number of hours off 
on a holiday equivalent to whatever number of hours they are 
normally scheduled to work on that day. An employee on a ten-hour 
schedule is credited with ten hours for the holiday. An employee on 
a 5/4/9 schedule receives credit for either 8 or 9 hours for the 
holiday, dependent upon the number of hours he/she is normally 
scheduled to work on that day. A 5/4/9 employee does not automati- 
cally receive credit for 9 hours on a holiday. If that employee's 




eight-hour day falls on the holiday, he/she receives an eight-hour 
credit for the holiday. The employee cannot adjust his/her schedule 
during a holiday pay period in order to receive a nine-hour credit. 
An employee on a flexible schedule receives an eight-hour credit for 
the holiday. Second, if a Federal holiday falls on an employee's 
nonworkday, the employee may be entitled to an alternative day off 
"in lieu of" the holiday. 

LIEU DAYS 

The term "lieu day" as used in Federal regulation refers to a day of 
approved absence from work granted to an employee instead of, or 
"in lieu of," a holiday. For example, if a Federal holiday falls on an 
employee's nonworkday, the employee may be granted another day 
off "in lieu of" the holiday. 

Specific criteria which entitle an employee to "lieu days" are 
contained in 5 USC 6103 and Executive Order 11582. When an 
employee has Sunday and Monday as nonworkdays and a holiday 
falls on either Sunday or Monday, Tuesday is the employee's 
holiday (lieu day). When the employee has Friday and Saturday as 
nonworkdays and a holiday falls on either Friday or Saturday, 
Thursday is the employee's holiday (lieu day). If the employee has 
three consecutive nonworkdays and a holiday falls on the first or 
second nonworkday, the last workday immediately preceding the 
three nonworkdays is the employee's holiday. If the employee has 
three consecutive nonworkdays and a holiday falls on the third 
nonworkday, the first workday following the three nonworkdays is 
the employee's holiday or lieu day. 

PART-TIME EMPLOYEES 

Part-time employees may participate in any of the forms of alterna- 
tive work schedules provided they complete their biweekly basic 




work requirements in each pay period. This means that a part-time 
employee on a 32-hour appointment can work more than 32 hours in 
a week so long as the total scheduled hours for each biweekly pay 
period do not exceed 64 hours. In addition, a part-time employee 
with a 32-hour appointment participating in a flexible/compressed 
plan may accrue and carry over 16 credit hours (one-fourth of the 
biweekly work requirement). 

SUPERVISOR'S RESPONSIBILITIES 

It is the responsibility of the supervisor to assure that any approved 
schedules do not interfere with the mission of the organization 
which he or she supervises. The supervisor should carefully review 
each request for an alternative schedule and approve only those 
schedules which are appropriate to the work situation. If the super- 
visor approves an employee's request for a schedule and then later 
determines that the schedule is having an adverse impact on the 
mission of the organization, the supervisor is required to take 
immediate action to either cancel or alter the schedule. The super- 
visor should advise the employee of the reasons for changing or 
cancelling a schedule and provide the employee with reasonable 
advance notice of the change or cancellation. 

A supervisor may assign any employee to an alternative schedule if 
the needs of the Service/organization are better served by the 
change. For example, if an organization currently has three eight- 
hour shifts which provide coverage 24 hours a day and the 
supervisor determines that the needs of the organization are better 
and more efficiently served with only two ten-hour shifts, the 
supervisor can assign all the employees to ten-hour schedules. The 
supervisor must, however, allow exceptions for employees with 
documented hardships. This type of change may also require 
bargaining with a union over the impact of the change, if the 
employees involved are in a bargaining unit. 

The supervisor may cancel an employee's approved schedule at 
anytime because of the employee's abuse of the procedures or 
irresponsibility. The employee may grieve the cancellation or 
disapproval of his/her alternative schedule through the appropriate 
negotiated grievance procedure or the Departmental administrative 
grievance procedure. It is important to remember that an employee 
in a bargaining unit may never use the Departmental administrative 
grievance procedure. 



10 



EMPLOYEE'S RESPONSIBILITIES 

An employee may individually request to be placed on any of the 
alternative schedules which have been approved for the employee's 
organization. An employee may only participate in an alternative 
work schedule plan with the approval of his or her supervisor. An 
employee's request for approval of an alternative schedule must be 
in writing and submitted to the employee's immediate supervisor. 
An employee's participation in alternative work schedules may be 
cancelled at any time because of the employee's abuse of the 
procedures or irresponsibility. 

ADMINISTRATIVE WORKWEEK/BUSINESS HOURS 

It is the responsibility of the Employer to determine the hours during 
which the activity will be fully staffed and conducting business. Only 
those alternative schedules which are compatible with the activity's 
operating hours should be approved. For example, if a site is open 
to the public 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, the site manger may determine 
that only schedules with arrival times no earlier than 7:30 a.m. and 
departure times no later than 6:30 p.m. may be approved. In a 
Regional Office,, the Regional Director may determine that the 
administrative work week is 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through 
Friday, and that approved schedules may not start earlier than 7 
a.m., nor end later than 6 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays may not 
be scheduled work days. 

LABOR RELATIONS APSECTS 

Wherever a union has been certified as the exclusive representative 
of NPS employees, the establishment, alteration or termination of 
alternative work schedules is subject to collective bargaining between 
the NPS and the exclusive representative (union). The AWS Statute 
specifically requires that employees in a bargaining unit may be 
included in an AWS program only to the extent expressly provided 
for in a collective bargaining agreement. 

If management proposes to establish a new AWS plan, or change an 
existing AWS plan, the new plan must be submitted to the union 
while in draft for comment. If the union proposes changes, manage- 
ment must meet with the union and negotiate the plan. Management 
may terminate an existing AWS plan without the union's 
concurrence, only if management can document that the AWS plan 
has had an adverse impact on government operations and if that 
documentation has been accepted by the Federal Service Impasses 
Panel. In order to prove adverse impact, management must show 



11 



that the plan has: (1) reduced productivity, (2) reduced the level of 
services provided to the public, or (3) increased the costs of the 
agency's operations, except for normal administrative costs. 



WilON 




If management proposes to terminate an existing AWS plan, the 
union must be advised of the reasons for the proposed termination. 
If the union does not accept the reasons for the termination, the 
AWS plan may not be terminated until the Federal Service Impasses 
Panel issues a final decision which supports the agency's determi- 
nation that adverse impact would result from the AWS plan. If the 
union accepts the reasons for the termination, the plan may be 
terminated. However, even if the reasons are acceptable to the 
union, the union may propose to negotiate over the impact of the 
termination of the plan on bargaining unit employees. These 
negotiations must also be completed prior to the actual termination. 

Management may propose to establish an AWS plan, change an 
existing plan, or terminate a plan at anytime. The union may only 
propose a new plan, changes to an existing plan or termination of an 
existing plan during the negotiation or renegotiation of the union's 
basic agreement, unless the union agreement specifically provides for 
mid-term bargaining of AWS. Whenever management considers 
establishing, changing or terminating an AWS plan which covers 
employees in a union bargaining unit, the appropriate regional or 



12 



headquarters labor relations staff must be consulted prior to taking 
any action. While determinations as to AWS plans and procedures 
are subject to collective bargaining, decisions on individual employee 
requests for particular schedules are made by supervisors based 
upon organizational needs and work requirements. 




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16 



QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS 

1. Q. Can any employee participate in alternative work schedules? 

A. Once an activity has established an alternative work schedule 
plan, any employee within the activity should be able to request 
to participate. The employee's request should be in writing and 
submitted to the employee's immediate supervisor. An 
employee's request may be denied only for reasons which are 
work related. An employee should be given the reasons for the 
denial. 

2. Q. What is an alternative work schedule plan? 

A. An alternative work schedule plan is a written policy adopted 
by an individual activity which sets the parameters of the types 
of alternative work schedules which are considered to be 
appropriate for employees of the activity. Before approving any 
employee participation in AWS, a written alternative work 
schedule plan should be adopted by the activity. Guidance 
concerning the development of these plans may be obtained 
from the appropriate regional or headquarters personnel office. 

3. Q. Who approves alternative work schedule plans? 

A. Regional Directors and Service Center Managers are delegated 
authority to approve all alternative work schedule plans within 
their respective regions. Such approval must be in accordance 
with statutes, governmentwide rules and regulations, and NPS 
policies. The Branch of Labor and Employee Relations, WASO, 
should be consulted concerning compliance with law, rule, 
regulation and NPS policies. 

4. Q. What is the role of the union in the development of AWS 
plans? 

A. If the employees of an activity are represented by a union, a 
proposed AWS plan must be submitted to the union in advance 
and is subject to collective bargaining. If the union represents 
any portion of the activity's employee population, the union 
would have the right to negotiate the plan as it would apply to 
the bargaining unit employees. This could result in two separate 
AWS plans, one covering the bargaining unit employees and one 
covering all others. If the activity has no union recognitions, 
management may develop and implement an AWS plan unilater- 



17 



ally. Management should seek the advice and assistance of their 
personnel office prior to proposing an AWS plan. 

5. Q. Is employee participation in an AWS program voluntary? 

A. In most instances employee participation should be voluntary. 
Management may, in some situations, require an employee to 
convert to an alternative schedule for work related reasons. 
Management retains the right to assign employees to particular 
shifts and to determine the length of those shifts. 

6. Q. Can employees who are part of a work crew participate? 

A. Management may allow an entire work crew to adopt an 
alternative schedule as long as the schedule is compatible with 
the organization. If a majority of a work crew requests to 
participate or if management determines that it is in the best 
interests of efficient operations, the entire crew may be converted 
to a new schedule. Management must, however, consider 
individual employee's desires not to participate, particularly if 
mitigating circumstances are involved. 

7. Q. What is the impact of AWS on leave accrual and usage? 

A. Employees on alternative schedules continue to earn leave as 
they have in the past at the same rate per pay period. Leave 
used will be charged according to the number of hours that the 
employee was scheduled to work on the day of leave. An 
employee on a ten-hour schedule will be charged 10 hours of 
leave for each leave day. An employee on a five-four-nine 
schedule will in most instances be charged 9 hours of leave for 
each leave day unless the leave is taken on the one eight-hour 
day of the pay period. An employee on a flexible schedule will 
be charged whatever amount of leave is necessary to complete 
the daily work requirement or the eighty-hour requirement for 
each pay period. 

8. Q. How does an AWS schedule affect official holidays? 

A. Employees on alternative schedules observe official holidays 
in the same manner as other employees, except that employees 
on ten-hour schedules are off ten hours for the holiday, employ- 
ees on five-four-nine schedules are off either eight or nine hours 
(whichever number of hours they are scheduled to work on the 
holiday), and employees on flexible schedules are off eight 



18 



hours. Employees who are not scheduled to work on an official 
hol'day receive another day off in lieu of the holiday. 

9. Q. Can a supervisor direct an employee to work on the 
employee's day off? 

A. For those employees on either ten-hour or five-four-nine 
schedules, scheduled nonworkdays should be treated no 
differently than traditional nonworkdays (Saturday and Sunday). 
The supervisor, however, retains the right to assign overtime 
whenever necessary. If an employee's services are needed on a 
scheduled nonworkday, the supervisor should direct the 
employee to work overtime on the nonworkday and compensate 
the employee with either overtime pay or compensatory time off, 
subject to the provisions of the FLSA and Title 5, U.S.C. An 
employee's scheduled nonworkdays for an administrative 
workweek should not be changed by the supervisor during the 
administrative workweek for the sole purpose of avoiding 
overtime in that administrative workweek. If, however, a 
supervisor knows in advance of an administrative workweek that 
the specific days and/or hours of the day when the employee's 
services are needed differ from those scheduled for that 
workweek, the supervisor should change the employee's 
schedule to correspond to the days/hours when the employee's 
services are needed. 

Additionally, an employee's days off in a pay period should not 
be changed at the request of the employee for the sole purpose 
of avoiding the use of leave. As stated previously, a ten-hour, 
5/4/9, or alternative eight-hour schedule, if approved, is intended 
to be a fixed schedule, meaning that it should not be changed 
from week to week. Only the schedules of employees on flexible 
schedules may vary from week to week or day to day. 

10. Q. What hours does an employee work when on travel or 
training? 

A. The employee should temporarily assume the schedule of the 
activity to which the employee is visiting or the hours of the 
training session. The employee should resume his/her approved 
alternative schedule upon return to his/her official duty station. 



19 



11. Q. For what reasons may an employee's previously approved 
schedule be cancelled or changed? 

A. An employee's approved alternative schedule should be 
altered or cancelled by his or her supervisor whenever the super- 
visor determines that the schedule interferes with the ability of 
the organization to efficiently accomplish its assigned mission. 
The supervisor may also cancel an employee's alternative 
schedule when the supervisor determines that the employee is 
abusing the schedule or is being irresponsible in following the 
schedule or the AWS plan. It is the supervisor's responsibility to 
assure that alternative schedules do not produce an adverse 
impact on the ability of his or her organization to accomplish its 
assigned mission. 

12. Q. What recourse does an employee have if his or her request 
for an alternative schedule is not approved or if a previously 
approved schedule is cancelled? 

A. An employee who is not a member of a bargaining unit (not 
represented by a union), may file a grievance under the Depart- 
ment of the Interior's administrative grievance procedure. An 
employee in a bargaining unit (represented by a union) may file 
a grievance under the union's negotiated grievance procedure. 



\. Q. May an employee work straight through 
ithout taking a lunch period? 



13. Q. May an employee work straight through his or her workday 

wil 



A. No, a lunch period of at least thirty minutes must be sched- 
uled mid-day in the workday. Additionally, an employee may 
not schedule his or her lunch period at the beginning or end of 
the day. An employee may be directed to work through his or 
her lunch and receive overtime compensation for doing so. 

14. Q. If an employee is late for work may his or her workday be 
extended an equal amount of time to compensate for the tardiness? 

A. No, a supervisor may, however, excuse infrequent instances 
of tardiness without charge to leave. If the tardiness becomes 
more frequent, the employee's schedule may be changed to 
allow the employee to report to work as scheduled. Nonetheless, 
the employee is not entitled to changes in the schedule to 
compensate for tardiness problems. The employee may be 
charged absence-without-leave for instances of tardiness 
whenever they occur. Employees on flexible schedules are not 
considered to be tardy unless they fail to report for work during 



20 



the flexible ban at the beginning of the workday, or fail to report 
at a time specifically ordered by their supervisor. 

15. Q. May an employee combine a ten-hour schedule with a five- 
four-nine schedule and work a mixture of ten and nine hour days 
with an additional short workday as long as it totals 80 hours in a 
pay period? 

A. This type of schedule is only possible under a flexible/ 
compressed plan. The ten-hour and five-four-nine plans establish 
fixed schedules requiring the employee to work the same 
number of hours each workday. 

16. Q. May an employee's requested schedule be disapproved 
simply because the supervisor believes that the employee will 
probably abuse the schedule? 

A. Normally, no. An employee should be given the opportunity 
to demonstrate that he/she is responsible enough to follow the 
AWS ' 'rules." However, if the employee then demonstrates 
irresponsibility, the supervisor should take immediate action to 
correct the abuse or cancel the employee's schedule altogether. 

17. Q. Many employees refer to their days off as lieu days. Is this 
use of the term correct and does the adoption of alternative 
schedules change the meaning of "lieu days"? 

A. Using the term "lieu days" to describe an employee's 
scheduled days off has always been a misnomer. The Federal 
Personnel Manual consistently uses the term "in lieu of" in the 
context of "in lieu of a holiday" and simply refers to scheduled 
days off as nonworkdays. In an organization which operates 
seven days a week, including holidays, it is particularly 
important to use the correct terms to differentiate between 
scheduled days off and days granted to employees "in lieu of a 
holiday" which falls on an employee's nonworkday. This may 
appear to be an insignificant distinction; nonetheless, it is 
important because there are specific statutory entitlements 
associated with days off "in lieu of holidays" which are not 
applicable to scheduled nonworkdays. In order to be consistent 
with the Federal Personnel Manual and statute, the term 
"nonworkday" is correctly used to indicate a scheduled day off 
and the term "lieu day" is correctly used only to refer to a day 
off "in lieu of a holiday." 



21 



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